We all took melatonin and used a sleep mask and ear plugs. We slept a full 11 hours! It was amazing. We made eggs and bacon for breakfast and left our little cabin behind. We all wish we could have stayed one more day!
We were ready for our first adventure, Glymur Waterfall. We drove about an hour to get there. Even in just the first 10 min of the trail the views were astounding. We got to go through a little cave and do a fun and kind of tricky water crossing. If you didn’t duck under the rope in just the right way you ended up in the river. We saw that happen.
Then the hike got harder than we anticipated. There were really steep inclines that required ropes to hoist yourself along. Luckily those parts were intermittent. It takes a lot of elevation gain to get on top of the second highest waterfall in Europe! It’s 650 ft high.
As was a theme of this trip, Josh was always leaps and bounds ahead of the rest of us, wondering why in the world we all walk so slow.
The views of the waterfall just kept getting better and better as we went along. We ate our sandwiches at the main viewpoint and then hiked the rest of the way to the top.
We were greeted with a little patch of sunshine and a beautiful rainbow over the falls. So incredible.
Then came the real adventure. There are two ways down. Back the way we came, or across the river is a much easier path. BUT….you must cross the icy river. No one else brought their water shoes on the hike (despite me telling them to—with the exception of Halle—I forgot to include them on her packing list) so they had to go barefoot. Blake was convinced that his waterproof hiking boots would keep him protected. We kept telling him the water would be too deep and it would soak him. There was no convincing him so he went full send into the river. He was feeling pretty great about himself until about the middle of the river when it got quite a bit deeper. He was up to the middle of his calves and just ran as fast as he could the rest of the way. Needless to say, his boots were soaked. It took 3 days to dry them out. The only other shoes he had were a pair of Crocs.
Even though it was really cold, I made it over just fine in my Keens. The bare feet were a little harder. Halle just muscled through, but Dad and Josh prolonged their misery by running from rock to rock and then standing there forever while they got up the courage to take on the next section. Finally we all made it safely across.
Halle had commented that the scenery was like something out of a fantasy movie. And ask we walked down the easy dirt trail toward the van she said Hiking Glymur is like a fantasy quest—hard on the way there and easy on the way back. So true.
Next was a long windy drive to the Golden Circle. Blake was in heaven in the camper van. He’d crawl up on the top bunk in his sleeping bag, put in his headphones and play games. Then we’d just magically arrive at beautiful destinations and he’d climb out.
Our first stop was Oxarfoss. Josh said, “poor little waterfall, he did the best with what he had.” He said beauty fatigue had already set in.
We made a quick stop at Strokker to see the guyser and at the Silfa Fissure. That was kinda fun, but it was FREEZING. All the packing guides said a jacket and a rain jacket would suffice. They were wrong. I wished for a coat many times on this trip.
Gulfoss was next. I cannot believe all these varied and incredible things exist so close to each other. Josh said Iceland is hogging all the waterfalls.
We made our first meal in the camper van in the Gulfoss parking lot. We had yummy burrito bowls.
More driving and we finally arrived at our campground around 11:30 pm. That midnight sun is pretty amazing! We pitched the tent and fell fast asleep.